Updated: Apr 24
What is the one thing that you really want to do in your life? Quitting your job and travelling around the world for a year? Starting up your own business? Moving to another country and starting over? Or maybe, like me you have wanted to write a book.
Maybe you know what the one thing is that you want in life, but you are unsure of how to start working towards it.
Ever since I was a young girl, I loved reading. Getting lost in fantasy worlds and reading how someone else lived always made me wonder how those words got onto the pages of the books I read. It wasn’t until much later in life that I learned just how difficult it was to get a book published. I tried my hand at fiction writing and I joined a writing club. At the time self-publishing was considered a sign that you weren’t a good enough writer and so I tried everything I could to get published. Unfortunately I received rejection letter after rejection letter (yes, submissions were not allowed to be made by email at the time), and after receiving one too many letters, I gave up on my dream. I stopped writing and couldn’t help feeling envious of writers who had been published.
Fast forward about twenty years to 2021. I had started thinking about writing a book again. This time, something non-fiction. And in late 2021 I was part of a coaching programme called Stretch 22. In one of the modules in the programme we were asked to think about the one thing that we wanted to call into our lives.
The module prescribed how to discover my one thing and also how to set priorities and productivity goals around my one thing. The module is based on the concept in the book 'The One Thing,' by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan. This quote from the book is the main concept: “What's the ONE Thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
My coach in the programme asked us to spend up to four (yes four!) hours a day on our one thing. Perhaps you're thinking where those four hours were going to come from. It crossed my mind a few times, but our coach asked us to look at where our time was currently going. Many of us were spending that time on mindless scrolling on social media or binge-watching shows on Netflix. It was a decision of what was a priority to us that would help us to achieve our dreams and goals in life.
I didn’t even have to think twice about what my one thing was. For me it was writing and publishing a book. And now after a long hiatus, I had the opportunity to pick up the passion I had put down.
So I started writing. I set myself a plan and committed to writing on a certain number of days each week. I planned to have my first draft completed within six months. I set myself a target number of words for each day, week and month so I would reach my target. Even if I reached my target before the end of the week, I would still write on the remaining days of the week. Being consistent and committed meant I managed to complete my first draft one month ahead of schedule.
The first month was a learning curve. I had planned to write after finishing up in my 9-5 each day, but because of deadlines and meetings, I didn’t get to finish work at the same time each day. And coaching calls and other activities in my own coaching business, meant that time seemed to run away with me. There were also times when I didn’t have the mental energy at the end of the day to write 700 words of a book. I had to change how I approached my one thing. I decided to change what time of day I wrote. I started to wake up earlier and write before my working day began. This was a game changer for me! I had so much more clarity and I spent less time writing than I had before. And I was writing so much more!
Right now I’m in the process of writing a book proposal, knowing that I already have my first draft in waiting. If I hadn’t taken part in the coaching programme and been prompted to think about my one thing, I would most likely still be thinking about writing my book. I’d still be waiting for the right moment, and more free time in order to do what I wanted. But I’ve learned that if I really want to do something in my life, I have to re-prioritise other activities and make the time for ‘The One Thing’ in order to actually do it!
This is just my story on how I finally made time to do the thing I most wanted right now in my life, something I’ve been wanting to do since I can remember.
If there is something you want to do in your life, something you have a really deep desire for, I would urge you not to wait. If the pandemic has taught us anything, life really is short. Why wait to live the life you want to live? Why not take action and start moving towards the life you want now?
If you would like support in finding your one thing, or support in progressing a one thing you are already sure of, book a discovery call with me.